Rondo and the Celtics were blatantly using Bradley's absence as an excuse for their total lack of effort... so it doesn't totally surprise me that Bradley's return has them suddenly playing harder and winning some games.
Bradley is a good defensive role player... weak offensive player. High energy guy who at the moment has helped everyone on this team get out of their funk and start playing like the games matter.
What concerns me is the fact that Bradley has everyone playing well. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving this win streak, and I love the defensive intensity, but please tell me I'm not the only one who sees this.
A team that, without Bradley, shouldn't have been under .500 suddenly picks it up when he comes back? To me, that seems to put the rest of the team in a bad light.
I've been saying it all year: Bradley isn't the key to winning a title this year. The way our guys were playing before he returned made him look like that, and I think that's wrong. They didn't show a whole lot of effort, and once Avery returned, we suddenly become good?
It's coming off as, "Look, Avery. We need to put our title hopes on your surgically repaired shoulders. So, until you return, we're going to play like crap. Why, you ask? So that when you return, it makes it look like you're our savior."
Now, Avery has helped a lot (more than I'd thought), but I still don't think it's enough. The point remains: it hasn't been all Bradley, like a lot of people are saying. I think our guys had been coasting until Avery returned. To be frank, I find that a little disgusting on the player's (save Bradley) part.